Kenilworth School


Geography is a popular subject at Key Stage 4 and 5. Results are very good and this is a result of hard work from both staff and pupils.

In this Geography area we would like to tell you a little about the courses we run and the topics pupils will study. 

The Geography department area on the school VLE is well stocked with resources that are accessible to students. 

The department also has two Twitter accounts which are aimed at Year 12 and Year 13 students. These provide a feed of useful information for students, which should help with their further reading and all round knowledge of Geography and the world.

Keystage 3

Year 7 (2 lessons a week)
Year 7 students follow a programme that starts with “My School”. This introduces basic skills such as mapping and simple investigations around the school. We feel that this is an essential part of studying Geography and the skills that are taught to the pupils will be useful throughout their Geography careers. We then move onto “Flooding”, examining the causes of floods and looking at some examples and how they affected people and the environment. Students will look at how floods can be managed. The next topic is “Extreme Weather”. This is the study of tropical storms and other types of extreme weather. The next topic is “Migration”, looking at why people migrate and the impacts this can have on source and host countries. Students will also be asked to investigate, briefly, their own family tree and see how migration has affected their families. “Africa” is the next unit, looking at student’s perceptions of Africa and the physical and human Geography of this diverse continent.. The final term starts with “. Finally, students finish with a topic on “Environmental Issues” studying topics such as Climate change, renewable energy and endangered species.

Year 8 (1 lesson a week)
In year 8 pupils start the year by studying  “India”, looking at the Geography of the country and how it is changing. The second topic is “River landforms and processes”, studying the formation of meanders, waterfalls and other landforms and demonstrating an understanding of how a river changes from source to mouth.  In the spring term pupils will move onto “Biodiversity”, looking at different world biomes and the threats to these. “Coastal management” is the next topic where students will learn how the coast is shaped and how we can protect the coastline. In the summer term pupils will study “Development” and investigate how and why levels of development around the world vary. The rest of the term is then dedicated to the Local Area. In Geography pupils study two units – Transport (incorporating HS2) and the Impact of Tourism on Kenilworth Castle.

Year 9 (1 lesson a week)
In the final year of Key Stage 3 pupils start off with “Globalisation”, looking at the growing links between different parts of the world and the impacts of this. We then move onto the study of the physical and human Geography of China. In the spring pupils study “Tectonic Hazards” including earthquakes and volcanoes, looking at the causes, effects and management of these events. This is followed by a unit on “Energy Security”. In the final term we complete a short unit on Glaciation and a regional study.

Keystage 4

If pupils opt for GCSE Geography they will follow the AQA syllabus. 
The GCSE course consists of 6 units:

  • Urban Issues – the study of urban areas around the world
  • Physical Landscape of the UK
  • Natural Hazards – including lessons on earthquakes, volcanoes, climate hazards and climate change
  • The Economic World – trade and development
  • The Living World – the study of ecosystems and biomes, including the Tropical Rainforest
  • Resource management – the study of resources such as food, water and energy and how these can be managed for the future

There is no controlled assessment or coursework in Geography. Students will sit 3 exams at the end of Year 11. One of these will cover the Human Geography topics, one covers the Physical Geography topics and the third is a skills based examination, including answering questions relating to fieldwork.

For the past few years students have been taken on a residential field trip in Year 10 to Norfolk. This is an essential part of the course as the work that is done there will be used in one of the final exam papers. This has proven to be an enjoyable and educational experience for pupils and staff!

A Level

Students follow the Edexcel syllabus at AS and A2.

In Year 12 (AS level) students study Physical Geography topics such as “Tectonic Processes & Hazards” and “Landscape Systems, Processes and Change”. In Human Geography the topics covered are “Globalisation” and “Regenerating Places”. Pupils will have separate Human and Physical Geography lessons with specialist teachers.  Part of this course is compulsory fieldwork, including a residential trip.

In Year 13 students study a range of topical issues, such as Energy Security, Superpower Geographies, Water Security, Global Development, Migration and Climate Change. There is a piece of coursework that needs to be completed, based on fieldwork. This should be between 3000-4000 words long. 

As with GCSE, there are national changes to A-level planned which will affect Geography from September 2016.